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Open research data in African academic and research libraries: a literature analysis

Elisha R.T. Chiware (Library, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Bellville, South Africa)

Library Management

ISSN: 0143-5124

Article publication date: 3 June 2020

Issue publication date: 10 August 2020




The paper presents a literature review on research data management services in African academic and research libraries on the backdrop of the advancing open science and open research data infrastructures. It provides areas of focus for library to support open research data.


The literature analysis and future role of African libraries in research data management services were based on three areas as follows:open science, research infrastructures and open data infrastructures. Focussed literature searches were conducted across several electronic databases and discovery platforms, and a qualitative content analysis approach was used to explore the themes based on a coded list.


The review reports of an environment where open science in Africa is still at developmental stages. Research infrastructures face funding and technical challenges. Data management services are in formative stages with progress reported in a few countries where open science and research data management policies have emerged, cyber and data infrastructures are being developed and limited data librarianship courses are being taught.


The role of the academic and research libraries in Africa remains important in higher education and the national systems of research and innovation. Libraries should continue to align with institutional and national trends in response to the provision of data management services and as partners in the development of research infrastructures.



Chiware, E.R.T. (2020), "Open research data in African academic and research libraries: a literature analysis", Library Management, Vol. 41 No. 6/7, pp. 383-399.



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